LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS
Who are we?
Our mission is to assess the waste flows and environmental impacts of Born Global's biohubs, with initial focus on the site in West Enfield, Maine and its future biorefinery operation. We leverage Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment methodologies, and operate much like fungal mycelium networks...
What are mycelium...
A network of fungal threads also known as hyphae. These networks form underground and support what we know to be different types of mushrooms. These networks are essential to every ecosystem and vital to soil health. Mycelium form mycorrhiza, which is a biological symbiotic relationship between the underground networks and the root of a plant.
Function of interest...
Resource distribution to coordinate activities
Periods of low primary data availability
Information Exchange with Outside Entities
Team Collaboration and Searching Database Archives
Expanding Research Database
Material Flow Analysis
Material Flow Analysis (MFA) is a method to establish an inventory for a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). Where an LCA can be an impact assessment for MFA results. A MFA strives for transparency and manageability. To better evaluate the variables involved in building the biohub a framework for a MFA was established. This involved:
1. Identifying all inputs and outputs of the biorefinery and biomass power plant.
2. Determining which of these variables we have numerical values provided for so that gaps can be identified.
3. Visual mapping of connections made between inputs and outputs to gain a deeper understanding of waste streams and potential co-hosting opportunities.
Life Cycle Analysis
This project focuses on developing the framework with which to assess the biorefinery at West Enfield. Since the start of 2021, the team has worked to investigate primary and secondary data to be used for building this framework within OpenLCA so as to assess ecological impacts.
Ecosystem services are defined as the various benefits provided by natural, healthy ecosystems. To understand how the biorefinery and biohub affect the ecosystem, we must first assess what ecosystem services the area of Maine provides. Thus, this project focuses on three core areas of research:
1. The natural ecosystems of Maine and species/ecosystems of concern
2. Local communities and established industries
3. Ecosystem Service evaluation tools and methodologies
To see the current progress of our Maine ecosystem services classification framework, please explore the network diagram presented here.
Network diagram of Maine ecosystem services based on CICES v 5.0